I was greeted by Palais des Legendes' owner and given a seat facing the back of the restaurant. On the wall to my left, there was a cool and colorful mural of Puss and Boots, Cinderella and her pumpkin carriage and other fairy tales of my childhood. The owner came up and asked me if I wanted a drink and I noticed that they served Orangina, my favorite special treat of carbonated orange juice in France and if I can get it at home. So I ordered the Orangina and perused the menu while waiting. There are so many variations on Flammenkoche and the menu also had other Alsatian specialities, but my heart was set on the Flammenkoche whose cheese, ham and carbo loaded crust would keep me full and happy for the rest of my trip into Alsace since I had not yet hit Strasbourg at that time. In my best high-school French (Monsieurs DuLude and Barone would have been so proud of me), I ordered the Flammenkoche and sat back and waited and looked around the restaurant. I loved the tables in this little restaurant (only 20-30 people at a time allowed) with the name of the restaurant above a painting of Puss and Boots on it.
After a few minutes, my Flammenkoche arrived, and it was huge. Taking up the whole plate in front of me, the Alsatian pizza dish was chock full of ham, onions and cheese and it took me a minute to figure out where to start to eat that puppy. Finally I took my fork and knife and started to cut into it like I would with an Italian pizza. It was hot at first so I ate it with my fork and knife and then eventually cast my utensils aside and ate the whole Flammenkoche with my hands. When my classmates went to France two years before I did, they said they got dirty looks in Paris eating their pizza with their hands, but I didn't care what the Alsatians thought of my barbarian American eating habits. The people in the restaurant were too busy eating and enjoying their families.
The cost of my meal was under 13 Euros with the drink and meal, and I was full and happy for the rest of the day in Colmar and Strasbourg. So if you are in Colmar and are looking for a local eatery that caters mostly to locals and do not speak English and has great food, Le Palais des Legendes is the place to go for lunch or dinner. As the great Julia Child used to say, "Bon Appetit!
by Wildcat Dianne
August 17, 2011
From journal Bienvenue au Alsace!